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L. Neil Smith's
Number 696, November 11, 2012

"From now on, I will assume that people are
stupid, crazy, or evil until they prove otherwise."

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Making "Voluntary" Service Mandatory—One Step At A Time
by C. Jeffery Small

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Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

It was the Obama Administration's push for the institution of a national service program back in 2009 that was the impetus for my original essay launching the John Galt Pledge, along with this accompanying blog. You can find past articles on the subject in the archives under Service.

During the first term, government sponsored organizations like the Corporation for National and Community Service received massive increases in federal funding, with the intent of allowing them to place millions of new workers (improperly called "volunteers") on the federal payroll at taxpayer expense. However, the protracted fights over Obamacare and the budgets diverted attention away from work designed to transition these programs into a mandatory requirement of National Service for every citizen.

The reelection of Obama to another four year term portends ominous possibilities in all areas or life including national security, health care, economic stagnation, inflation of the currency, further erosion of the rule of law, and increased intrusion into the private lives of every citizens. And as I have been predicting for quite some time, it will also reactivate the push to dramatically expand programs for national servitude. Well, it didn't take long.

An organization called Service Nation, which prides itself in having:

"played a leading role in the drafting and April 2009 enactment of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which authorized the greatest expansion of national service in America since the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression."

has just published an article which details their renewed commitment to these activities.

What Does The Election Mean For National Service?

Here's what the reelection of President Obama means for national service:

In 2008, then Senator Obama pledged to make national service a cause of his presidency. In the first 100 days of his administration, he turned his pledge into action by signing the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act—the boldest national service legislation since the era of FDR. The bill promised to more than triple AmeriCorps from 75,000 to 250,000 AmeriCorps by 2017, to grow Senior Corps, and to advance impact volunteerism and proven social innovation.

Unfortunately, the growth of national service stalled when Congress and the President did not invest fully in the promise of the Serve America Act. Today, we have about 80,000 AmeriCorps members when the number should be 140,000 and growing. There are also 100,000 fewer Senior Corps members, and the entire Learn and Serve America program was eliminated.

As the President and Congress focus on fiscal priorities, they must spend limited resources on efforts that return financial and social benefits. National service meets this test. National service unites political parties, trains young leaders, tackles problems, and reinforces commitment to country.

With so many Americans looking for jobs, so many challenges in our communities and schools, and our nation looking for unity, national service should remain a top priority. It should not only be the cause of a presidency, but also a cause of our nation.

In last night's victory speech, President Obama said: "The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America has never been about what can be done for us. It's about what can be done by us, together."

That is exactly right. We need to demand that the President and Congress fulfill their promise to expand opportunities for Americans to serve their nation. The only way this will happen is if you speak up, take action, and we work collectively and relentlessly moving forward. Will you take a first step by sharing our "1 Million New Jobs" petition on Facebook and Twitter?


Ken, Zach, Morgan, Jerry, and the entire ServiceNation + ServeNext team

As a consequence of the rapidly increasing size and scope of the entitlement state coupled with the very real difficulties of paying for all of these unearned benefits, I predict that during the coming months there will be renewed calls by politicians for the institution of a mandatory national service program, giving the government access to a massive pool of cheap labor to carry out it's programs. All of this will be justified as being only fair that Americans be asked to "give back" something in payment for all the goodies being dolled out to them by their benevolent masters.

Once this is accomplished, the Civil War will have been fully undone and the 13 Amendment which reads:

"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." [Emphasis added]

without challenge, will simply have faded out of existence.

C. Jeffery Small's blog is Small Thoughts for a Complex World™

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